So, Porvoo has been VERY different than Tampere. For one example, it is quite brighter! I have seen the SUN this week! That was a little shocking to know it still existed and didn't burn out a while ago.
Well, not too much has happened this week, mostly due to the fact that what few investigators we have here in Porvoo couldn't meet with us, and that we had another Non-Proselyting Day on the 1st of the new year. Speaking of which, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I'm so excited to be able to say that I was in Finland for all of 2015, and I can't wait to help even more people here!
It was a bit strange coming here, because Tampere is about as "big city" as it gets (without living in Helsinki) and now I'm down in the small town of Porvoo. We do not have many investigators right now, so that's also different, because now I'm finding that I have to do just that even more: FIND. I like the teaching side of it all, though, and my companion is quite impressed with my Finnish. In fact, all the ward is quite impressed with my Finnish. Possibly because the last person in Porvoo with Elder Saunders was my MTC companion, Elder Wilson, and when they hear that we were companions in the MTC, they realize just how young in-country I am, and become even more shocked that I speak and comprehend like I do. They speak a lot more simply in church here than in Tampere, so it's been fun to understand almost everything!
Due to the fact that I am having a brain moment right now, I am going to start answering questions! Oh, one last thing: For some unknown reason, we are no longer allowed to "chat" with missionaries in our mission area, regardless of gender, and have banned ALL emails between missionaries in Finland (before Elders could email Elders, and Sisters could email Sisters, but now no one can). Very weird, so that means that this email onwards, no one in Finland is reading about what I am doing... But, questions!
1. What day did you arrive in your new transfer?
I arrived the Tuesday night, just in time to put up luggage and then go walking around in the dark! We decided to go contacting to see if we could find any new investigators. As a result of the VERY far distance we went, I got 3 blisters on the back of my heel that all immediately popped when I pulled off my shoe. It hurts.
2. What is Porvoo like?
Very small. Almost everyone I've tried to contact here ends up switching into Swedish to avoid talking to us, and my companion doesn't know Swedish... So, it's been a bit rough. But, it's a quaint little area, and I do like the look of it!
3. What is your new companion like?
Oh my GOODNESS, Elder Saunders knows almost EVERY reference I make, and has the same sort of likes! He has seen a lot of Whose Line, just like I have, and we are constantly coming up with obscure quotes from it to try to trip the other up! He is pretty cool, and is a really diligent worker. He likes to talk about interesting things, and also doesn't really care to discuss "deep doctrine", which I am very grateful for. In short, he's a pretty good guy that will hit his Year In Country mark at the same time I hit my ½ Year In Country (which is to say, the end of this change).
4. What is your new apartment like? Does it still have a sun lamp? And a sauna/suitcase storage?
No Happy Light, and NO Sauna! I'm a little disappointed, 'cuz now one of my suitcases is just next to my bed since there's no room... I like the apartment quite a bit, it has a separate kitchen and living room, and separate bedroom as well, so it is MUCH more spacey than Tampere's apartments. The only down side is the bathroom, which is small and cramped and hard to shower in. Plus, all of the pipes in there are either searing hot or freezing cold, so you've got to be careful what you touch!
5. Did you inherit Elder Nemelka's bike?
No. Someone threw it away, lock and all. It got totaled. Never mind that.
6. Are you riding a bike now that you are in a smaller town?
No, actually! We walk to make sure that we can contact what few people are out in the street!
7. Are you eating less Kebab now that you have left the city?
Yes, there are NO Kebab places near us, at least that I have seen yet, except for down here in Marjaniemi. We have to drive about an hour 4 times a week: Church, P-Day, District Meeting, and Ward Correlation with the Ward Mission Leader.
8. How long did it take to get to church this week?
It takes roughly an hour to get to church via car. There's no other way to get to church. Yup. Pray that we don't have car troubles!
9. Do you have a car in Porvoo?
10. What is your favorite thing about your new area?
Probably the area of town labeled Old Porvoo. It's this cobble-stoned area with some quaint little shops, and it just looks really old and pretty. There are also a lot of bridges here, so I'm happy!
11. Who have you met this week?
Not too many people. We've met a recent convert in the area who's pretty cool, but we only have 2 investigators, only 1 of which I met and our member with us potentially dropped... gotta check out that weird Finnish case he used on him...
12. What is something you learned this week?
I honestly am forgetting exactly how it is that I really progressed in specific testimony this week. I remember that a lot of my studies were focused on remaining focused on the work, and avoiding both temptations and complacent feelings. I think that helped me to remember why exactly I made this decision to come to Finland, and helped me to focus more on finding, despite me really not being the best at it.
13. What is something you shared this week?
I have prepared 3 separate lessons on the Restoration this week, only 1 of which we taught! And that 1 was with a member that didn't want to really talk about the Restoration, and instead decided he was going to talk about doctrine that doesn't really matter. Like, Christmas isn't actually the birth of Christ, it's an old pagan festival, and tons of stuff along those lines. I asked a few really good questions that really brought the Spirit into the room, and the investigator was seriously considering answers, and then the member would bust in and break up the great feeling by continuing to talk about random junk. Needless to say, I'm a little peeved about that lesson, because I felt the Spirit and we know he did too, but each time it was driven out by our member. It was an obvious difference in the lesson when we didn't have the Spirit there.
14. What type of candy do you want sent in your birthday package? Since they speak Swedish there, do you want Swedish Fish?!
This is good to talk about after venting a bit! I don't want chocolate, there's tons of that left over in the apartment from Christmas! Swedish Fish would be AWESOME. As well as Lifesaver Mints, the Wintergreen kind! Beyond that, I can't think of anything... But, thanks for the thought!
Okay, that's all I have time for today. I think y'all are awesome, and I hope that each and every one of your lives are going well and progressing your understanding of what you are doing in life. Please, all, be safe in this upcoming year!
The 9 is an apostrophe! My family gave me these message blocks for Christmas. They are only 5/8" square. Tiny.
Vanhin David Milligan